BOSTON -- Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling had surgery Tuesday
to repair his injured right ankle.
"The three-hour procedure proceeded as planned, with no
complications," team doctor Bill Morgan, who performed the
surgery, said in a statement.
Schilling pitched Game 6 of the AL Championship
Series and Game 2 of the World Series last month with the torn
sheath of his ankle tendon sutured into place so it wouldn't flop
over the bone when he pitched.
The Red Sox won both games, setting the stage for Boston's first
World Series championship in 86 years.
Doctors said Schilling's ankle and foot will be immobilized for
about a month. He also needs six weeks of rehabilitation, so any
delays might cause him to miss the start of spring training.
Schilling, acquired in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks,
earned a permanent position in Red Sox folklore when he pitched on
the injured ankle during the playoffs.
He hurt it near the end of the regular season and tried to pitch
Game 1 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees. Unable to push off
the mound, he allowed six runs in three innings -- his worst
postseason performance since 1993. The Yankees went on to take a
3-0 series lead and Schilling's season appeared over.
But the unprecedented suturing procedure enabled him to pitch in
Game 6. With blood seeping through his sock, Schilling beat the
Yankees, catapulting the Red Sox to an improbable comeback capped by a Game 7 victory.
He repeated the feat in Game 2 of the World Series against the
St. Louis Cardinals. Afterward, he said he could not have made his
scheduled start in Game 6 of the Series, had it gone that far. But
it became moot when the Red Sox swept the Cardinals.
The soft tissue that sheaths the ankle tendon had been ruptured,
causing the tendon to dislocate. On Tuesday, doctors pushed the
tendon back into place and reconstructed the sheath.
Despite being hampered by his ankle, Schilling traveled with
President Bush before last week's election, campaigning on crutches
in the battleground states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
He is also considering raising money for charity by auctioning
the bloody sock he wore during Game 2 of the World Series, said
Scott Edelstein, special events coordinator for the ALS
Association's Massachusetts chapter. Schilling has long contributed
to the association, which funds research into amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.